The recent Supreme Court decision in Kelo v. City of New London, which extended the government’s power to force individuals to sell their property against their better judgment, represents an egregious violation of individual rights, said Dr. Andrew Bernstein, senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute.

Morally, the greatness of the American system lies in recognizing the inalienable right of each and every individual to his life, his property, and the pursuit of his happiness. If someone does not wish to sell his property, it is criminal to force him to do so. Just as it is a crime for a burglar to seize your television set even if he leaves behind a $20 bill and declares that that represents “fair compensation”–so it should be a crime for the government to do so.

In a free society, the terms on which a man sells his property are his to determine, not the government’s. The converse view is based on the idea that a man’s life and property belong to the state–and has no legitimate place in America.

The upshot of the Kelo decision will be that many more individuals will be forced off the land on which they wish to continue living, so that local governments can eagerly expand their tax revenues.

Bernstein warned that a government moving toward dictatorship usually does so by seizing more and more control over its citizens’ property.

Voice of Capitalism

Capitalism news delivered every Monday to your email inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest